Former House Speaker to plead guilty in hush money case

Oct 15, 2015 3:23 PM by CBS News

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty to charges related to his alleged efforts to conceal sexual misconduct, CBS News' Charlie Brooks reports from Chicago.

A judge in Chicago Federal Court convened a hearing Thursday in the case against Hastert, where Hastert's attorneys said the former speaker requests to plead guilty on October 28. The attorneys will present details of the plea to the judge on Monday, and he must approve the terms of the plea deal before it can be finalized.

If it is finalized, Hastert's potentially dark secrets from his past could remain secret.

Since the details of the plea deal were not announced in court on Thursday, it's unclear specifically what he will plead to. Hastert, the longest serving Republican House speaker in history, was indicted this past May and charged with violating federal banking laws and lying to FBI investigators.

According to the indictment, Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in 2010 to a person identified only as "Individual A," in an effort to "compensate and conceal" Hastert's "prior misconduct." Hastert pleaded not guilty in June.

Law enforcement sources have told CBS News that the misconduct mentioned in court documents refers to sexual misconduct allegations involving a young manthat date back more than 30 years. From 1965-1981, Hastert was a popular teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois.

To conceal the allegations of misconduct, prosecutors allege that Hastert made relatively small bank withdrawals to pay off the unnamed individual. From June 2010 through April 2012, he made 15 $50,000 bank withdrawals. That caught the attention of the banks, and after he was questioned by bank representatives, he began withdrawing cash in increments of less than $10,000, allegedly to avoid further scrutiny. Overall, he withdrew a total of $1.7 million from a number of his personal bank accounts.

In 2014, the FBI questioned Hastert about his withdrawals, and he allegedly lied, telling agents he was storing cash "because he did not feel safe with the banking system."


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